HM Revenue & Customs have set up a specialist unit to investigate the affairs of so-called family investment companies – which it believes may be used as vehicles for large-scale tax avoidance.
Family investment companies (FIC’s) are used by high net worth individuals, often in preference to creating trusts – which in recent years have been targeted by tax legislation. HMRC say the FIC unit was “established to look at family investment companies and do a quantitative and qualitative review into any tax risks with a focus on inheritance tax implications”.
There is concern at HMRC that the very wealthy are using FIC’s (often in conjunction with companies set up offshore) in order to create sophisticated and complex structures, designed to avoid inheritance tax.
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